What a marvellous competition the Pride of the Cotswolds is. I was privileged to be at the first awards night and it was a wonderful evening.

The Carol Embrey suite at my favourite football club was bursting with the best of the Cotswolds. Everyone involved was a winner, having made a genuine contribution to our Cotswold community. All the right people were there.

How different it is when the national honours lists are announced. Undoubtedly many deserving people are honoured, but it is much hit and miss. There is one question that needs to be asked. Do you deserve an honour just for being famous? I suggest not.

If I had to nominate some Cotswold candidates for national honours I would start with three ladies. All different, all successful but all have remained rooted in our community.

Nell Gifford would be first and she would become a Dame. Any visitor to Gifford Circus knows why. It is impossible not to be entertained and uplifted as every performance is a joyous experience. Not only has Nell been it inspiration, she remains at the heart of this life enhancing constant Cotswold delight. Her quiet dignity when dealing problems that everyday life can throw at you marks her down as someone special.

Special also is Pam Ayres. She has just given a solo show at Rendcomb College. It raised £10,000. There is no fuss about Pam. She just knows what needs doing and gets on with it. At the occasion held to remember the end of the First World War in Cirencester Parish Church her moving words were so perfectly appropriate. Tears were shed by so many and I think Pam as well.

Jilly Cooper comes next. She could live anywhere but chooses one of the villages above Stroud, and is always a bright, busy presence in our local community. I see her at Forest Green where she enjoys supporting our local team. Her work is not for me, but it is for so many. This unpretentious modest lady has entertained so many with her writing and thoroughly deserves a very his honour.

I close by sticking to entertainment and put forward clown Tweedy and in his wake singer Johnny Coppin. Both these men entertain so many of us so well. Gloucestershire life is made rich by their presence, either in the circus ring on the stage or radio they are a delight. Neither are natives of this county but could we have two better adopted ones.